Today’s Best iPad App: Editorial

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Editorial iPad Text Editor App

Editorial is a plain text editor for the iPad with powerful automation tools and a beautiful inline preview for writing Markdown.

That’s the accurate but quite low-key opening line for Editorial in the iPad App Store. It’s a nice quick sum-up – but it could just as easily add that it comes straight in as a best of breed text editor app, even though there are a number of stellar apps in this category. It’s that great an app, and then some.

It offers unparalleled Markdown support, a wealth of powerful features, and unique automation features – all  within a clean and elegant UI.

Here are some of its most notable features:

* Inline Markdown Preview – You can always swipe left to switch to a full HTML preview.
* Extensible with Workflows – Almost 50 configurable actions can be combined into powerful workflows for extending Editorial’s feature set.
* Scriptable with Python – You can also integrate scripts into your workflows for even more advanced automation.
* Full Documentation – Editorial comes with a complete set of documentation for all the different workflow actions and Python modules. Help is directly accessible from the workflow and Python editors.
* Sync with Dropbox – You can store your documents in a configurable Dropbox folder, and even view comparisons with older versions to see the progress you’ve made.
* Smart Keyboard – The extended keyboard was specifically designed for writing Markdown and includes all the special characters you need.
* In-App Browser – If you need to do some quick research while writing, you don’t have to leave the app for that.

The smart keyboard is just excellent for use with Markdown. The extra row of keys has some brilliant little touches like tap and hold on the asterisk key to see double and triple asterisk options and similar for several other keys; and the ability to slide left or right on the extra row of keys to move the cursor. This is much faster and easier than the standard way of moving the cursor around.

Editorial’s Snippets – which are also executed superbly and are fully customizable – are available directly from the extra row of keys as well. 

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to great text editor apps for the iPad. Byword and iA Writer are two particular standouts that I’ve been using for a long while. After just a few days of using Editorial it has become my go-to, ahead even of those two old favorites. And I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all of its powerful automation tools.

Editorial has replaced Byword on my iPad dock, and I fully expect it be a fixture there for a long, long time.

The app does a great job of presenting its superb features, but I’ve also found it immensely helpful to dig into Federico Viticci’s epic review and Gabe Weatherhead’s in-depth review with screencasts – as great sources of inspiration for diving deeper into Editorial.

Here’s an App Store link for Editorial; it’s priced at $4.99.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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